Have you heard the term “MTHFR” and wondered what the heck that is? It almost sounds like “cursing”, doesn’t it? But it isn’t something vulgar, but rather an acronym for one of our many human genes, and this one is attracting a lot of interest lately. MTHFR is short for “Methylene tetraydrofolate reductase”. There is a gene named MTHFR, but there also an enzyme MTHFR. The gene is responsible for directing the production of the enzyme.
The recent interest is not specifically about that gene, but rather what happens in the event of a variance of this gene. There are plenty of documented variances- 50 plus, however the two more well studied variances currently are the c677t and A1298c variances. It is coming to light that as many as 40-60% of people DO carry some MTHFR variance.
So why are we even talking about this? Because of three main important areas these variances can impact and their connections to: * elevated homeocycteine levels * Impaired methylation of key nutrients * Impaired toxin and cellular waste byproduct elimination
Science has identified links to specific, yet fairly common, variances of this gene to the 3 topics just listed. Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid produced as part of the body’s methylation process. “Elevated” homocysteine levels are considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and may be an indicator that efficient methylation is not occurring. In the presence of one of these gene variances, it can change the way our bodies methylate- or metabolize nutrients we consume through our diet. The MTHFR enzyme facilitates proper methylation, in the absence of variance. So, if the nutrients are not properly converted- primarily folic acid- it can impact many bodily systems and functions involved in brain functions, hormones, neurotransmitters, digestion, etc. Additionally, the variance can impact the bodies ability to eliminate toxins and waste from cellular activity.
A MTHFR gene variance effects everyone differently…some may experience little or no effect, while others may experience specific health effects. Scientific research has observed a link between those with a MTHFR gene variances and the potential onset of a list of health conditions. Some of these health conditions linked to these variances include: * Behavioral disorders, including ADHD * Autism * Bipolar and Schizophrenia * Migraines * Autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain * Chronic Digestive issues and disorders * Hormone and Thyroid issues * Neurotransmitter and mood disorders * Reproductive disorders such as neural tube defect and PCOS
THE GOOD NEWS IS: Identifying the presence of a MTHFR variance then opens the door for the conversation to begin: the conversation with your licensed medical practitioner, with your naturopath and with YOU! Because now you have additional tools thru individualized and specific lifestyle planning to support your body in the presence of specific MTHFR variances- which can POSITIVELY impact your outcome and results! How do you identify if “you”, or someone you care about, has a MTHFR variance? You may request a lab test through your medical professional OR you can order your own DNA test! Companies, like “23andMe”, offer cost effective DNA genotype testing. Using this approach, you will receive a plethora of data regarding your genotype, not “just” as it may relate to MTHFR.
Wondering if you, or someone you care about, may be part of that 40-60%? Does navigating through this topic and then taking action feel a bit overwhelming? Because that sense of feeling “overwhelmed” is not unusual, Dr Causey offers this as a service to her clients. Dr. Causey offers consultations specific to this topic, offering clients “one on one” time to ask their own questions regarding this process, specifics how to navigate it, tips on what questions to ask their own medical professional, and Dr. Causey will partner with you to create a personalized, holistic, lifestyle plan to support optimal outcomes relating to MTHFR gene variances, should you determine you are part of that 40-60% discovered to not be methylating properly. You can contact Dr. Causey at 225.380.5888 to schedule your consultation appointment .